Mr Andrew Everard Fairgray Allison

BA MSc (Hons) Grad.Dip.Arts P.G.Dip.Sci (Distinction) Auckland

Profile Image
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Andrew's PhD research investigates local responses to anthropogenic change in estuarine systems using agent-based and system dynamics modelling.  Shallow coasts and estuaries are highly valued as they provide residents with essential ecosystem services, yet they are also vulnerable due to rapid changes from urbanisation, pollution and climate and land use change. The inherent complexity in shallow coastal ecosystems means modelling is an important tool that can assist in understanding these systems and how they respond to change. Model outputs can be used in management applications to help avoid or mitigate impacts that reduce environmental, ecological, social and economic resilience. It is not always clear, however, what types of models are needed to address different types of problems in social-ecological systems and what components of these estuarine systems need to be modelled.

Transdisciplinary social-ecological modelling is a useful tool for developing the shared system understanding between researchers and stakeholders that is needed to manage estuarine systems. All environmental models are simplifications of reality; therefore, the process of modeling is beset by the struggle to determine an appropriate level of simplification and imitation of reality while retaining the necessary intricacies of the system to be studied in order to produce useful model outputs. Andrew's research seeks to determine and achieve appropriate levels of model complexity, and to establish whether simple exploratory models can improve understanding of complex social-ecological systems in the same way they can for geophysical systems.

Research | Current

Investigating the controlling dynamics in estuarine systems through transdisciplinary modelling

Teaching | Current

University of Auckland:

Geography 250 - Geographical Research in Practice - 2014
Geography / Earth Science 262 - Geomorphology - 2013, 2017
Geography 330 - Research Methods in Physical Geography - 2013-2014
Geography 351 - Coastal and Marine Studies - 2016
Geography 701 - Research in Practice - 2017
Environmental Science 702 - Applied Estuarine Ecology - 2016

Postgraduate supervision

My supervisors:

Dr Mark Dickson
Dr Karen Fisher
Professor Simon Thrush

Dr Mark Dickson
Dr Jon Tunnicliffe


4x Postgraduate 'First in Course' Awards
Faculty of Science Masters Award

NIWA Hamilton PhD Scholarship

Areas of expertise

Social-ecological / agent-based / system dynamics modelling

Delta sedimentology / morphodynamics

Anthropogenic change in shallow coastal systems

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Coastal Society

New Zealand Geographical Society

New Zealand Marine Science Society

Royal Society of New Zealand

Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 4, Room 451
New Zealand